Electronic taxi hailing in New York City gets judge's approval

In October 2012, Uber pulled its taxi hailing app from New York City, citing reasons of not having enough participating taxi drivers, and also limitations put in place by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, prompting it to continue its efforts in cities "more innovation-friendly." The issue of electronically hailing cabs grew quickly, and has now reached a potential turning point, with a judge giving the go-ahead for the technology.

The issue presented is the difference between yellow taxis, which you hail with a raised arm, and livery cabs, which you pre-arrange, such as for trips to the airport or doctor. Yellow taxis can't take pre-arranged orders, and livery cabs can't pick up someone standing on the roadside with their arm in the air. Says livery cab drivers, allowing yellow taxis to be hailed with an app is breaking the rules and will cut into their business.

A decision by the Taxi and Limousine Commission in December 2012 to test the system for a year prompted a lawsuit from livery cab owners, who are currently considering an appeal, according to the Washington Post. The decision to give the test program permission came down from Manhattan state Supreme court Justice Carol Huff, who addressed concerns about the enabling of discrimination, whether the one-year initiative is too large to be classified as a test, and more.

Each service that wants to roll out an electronic hailing system in New York City will need to be approved, with the Taxi and Limousine Commisioner David Yassky saying that, "The market will ultimately decide which apps rise or fall, and we have an obligation to give the riding public that choice."

[via Washington Post]